Universities in Kerala are turning into party offices, Congress alleges

Congress on Wednesday criticized Kerala’s Pinarayi Vijayan government for turning state universities into “party offices”.

Opposition leader VD Satheesan, raising this issue in the Assembly, said that while universities should be centers of excellence, they have unfortunately become a haven for clandestine appointments of friends and relatives of “party leaders ” (from the left).

“The scene is that every day we hear of clandestine appointments from friends and relatives of party leaders, resulting in merit getting nothing at all. The scene is such that these days only those who are close to the party will get jobs and the universities here are turning into party offices. On top of that, the vice-chancellors are just puppets,” he said.

The House also saw angry exchanges between the Treasury and opposition benches when Congressman Roji M. John threatened to reveal the names of the wives of Treasury bench lawmakers, who were named by means diverted.

For some time now, the appointment order given by Kannur University to Priya Varghese, wife of Chief Minister KK Ragesh’s secretary, allegedly circumventing merit and qualifications, has been discussed on all platforms.

When this became news, Governor Arif Mohammed Khan initially suspended the appointment and the Kerala High Court soon followed suit. But at the assembly, the state’s Minister of Higher Education, R. Bindhu, said that all mandatory UGC rules and regulations had been followed and the appointment was in order.

Now all eyes are on Khan, who after a brief stopover in Delhi returns to his official residence here later today. Khan “declared war” on Kannur University Vice-Chancellor Gopinath Ravindran and called him a CPI-M political worker.

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